2019 Conference
All Conferences
Contacts & Support
TSVC | Tourism Students Virtual Conference

Women Empowerment and Equality - the inequality and inbalance of women within managerial roles and the pay gap they have to face

Women Empowerment and Equality - the inequality and inbalance of women within managerial roles and the pay gap they have to face
Author: Courtney Bancrof
2 Commentries
Abstract: This paper will look into the pay gap within the tourism industry and how male and female workers are treated differently when it comes to opportunities and promotions within the industry. It will consider the way in which male employees are favoured within higher paid and managerial jobs and the impact this can have on other employees and female workers.

Key Words: Pay Gap, Equality, Women Empowerment, Feminized

Within the tourism industry it is no surprise that they has always been a gap between female and male employees and the gap between them has led to many different issues within the tourism industry and led to female workers feeling demotivated within their jobs knowing than male workers would be getting paid more to do the same job in which they do too. The majority of the tourism workforce is made up of women with 60% of the workforce being women, though only 6% of the women’s workforce are hospitality board directors which does beg to question why the male percentage of the workforce seem to get the better jobs and be hired for the manger roles despite them being the lower percentage of the overall tourism industry workforce (Witts, 2015). According to the guardian men who work for TUI are paid nearly twice as much as women that work for them, though majority of staff that work for them are women. On average men earn 56.9% more per hour more than women and tui’s median pay gap is at 47.3%. It is said that these pay gaps are stemmed from a low representation of women in highly paid jobs and roles within the company such as pilots, technology and senior management.

For many companies it is important that they have an equal balance of women and male workers within there businesses as it makes commercial sense but because of the lack of equality when it comes to pay and opportunities for promotion it can make it hard for companies to achieve such goals within their business. Ibis hotels are one company which are closing the division on the gender pay gap and are looking more into what the employees has to offer the company instead of paying their employees by their gender. For example there managers are paid by past experience, the size of the hotel and how it is run. By ibis paying their employees in this way it allows for them as a company to start to break the gender pay gap and something that other companies should start to look into implementing into their companies (Eversham, 2018).

Gender equality and women empowerment has been and continues to be a concern in and throughout the tourism industry and this is particularly clear due to the amount of barriers that women employees face whilst as work such as pay and looking for advances within their career. There are many reasons to why women feel limited within their careers and with a lack of motivation and encouragement from those they work with it means that they don’t try to presume higher paid jobs due to felling men will out do them.

Social norms, culture and educations are all things that participate to women not having the opportunities they would want and need to progress within their careers. Through the tourism industry is 60:40 female to male the majority of highly paid job are run by male employees and they seem to dominate the managerial roles. This can cause a lot of division when it comes to working in the tourism industry and make a clear divide between women and male employees.

Many jobs within and throughout the tourism industry are seen as feminised jobs and roles. They are seen as jobs that women would normally do and be hired for. Over the year many of these jobs where seen as male dominate roles but overtime have been adapted and have become female dominant roles for example hotel receptionists are now seen as purely female roles. Due to the vast amount of lower paid jobs being feminized it has led to the status of these role decreasing and along with it pay leaving them to become sexualized jobs. People who would be hired for these roles would need to be very attractive, discriminating against someone who could be better qualified for the job over there appearance. This also led to more women employees being vulnerable to sexual harassment in the workplace (Guerrier & Adib, 2004). Housekeeping jobs are another example of a job which is strongly feminized due to the idea that women do the cooking and cleaning and by being in such a role they are using their domestic skills at work, they are normally filled with women migrant workers of diverse nationalities normally with poor skills due to them being expected to be invisible and to go about their work without disrupting guests.

Overall the industries pay gap is something that will continue for years to come, women will continue to be vulnerable and discriminated against. With companies like ibis trying to close the gender pay gap there is hope for a more equal workforce and for women to start and get the recognition they deserve to have.


Eversham, E. (2018). Gender pay gap? Not an issue at Accor’s Ibis hotels. [online] bighospitality.co.uk. Available at: https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2015/11/09/Gender-pay-gap-Not-an-issue-at-Accor-s-Ibis-hotels [Accessed 6 May 2018].

Guerrier, Y and Adib, A. (2004) Gendered Identities in the Work of Overseas Tour Reps, Gender, Work and Organization, 11(3), pp. 334-350.

Witts, S. (2015). Hospitality industry shamed over gender pay gap. [online] bighospitality.co.uk. Available at: https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2015/04/16/Hospitality-industry-shamed-over-gender-pay-gap [Accessed 6 May 2018].

Commentary on 'Women Empowerment and Equality - the inequality and inbalance of women within managerial roles and the pay gap they have to face'
Author: Yining Liu
I chose to comment on this discussion paper is because I found the inequality and imbalance of women within managerial roles and the pay gap has become increasingly significant nowadays. And this somehow cause the demotivate in women works. So this topic will be interesting to explore.

The author has a very clear understanding to this issue and used a number of statistics to backup the overall idea. One of the interesting fact is that 60% of the workforce in tourism industry is female but only 6% has be in managerial role. This is a quite distinctive contrast. Although female is traditionally perceived as good at housekeeping and taking care of things, if company creates a pay gap between male and female, this will highly likely to cause dissatisfaction from female workers which could probably cause a decrease of working quality and affect the atmosphere in workplace. By this point, this is when managers need to be aware of since reputation in tourism industry is very important and if the quality of service is caused by inequity in workplace, it could really be a shame.

The author also developed a very important argument that some jobs were used to perceived as male dominate roles has now become female dominate roles due to the vast amount of lower paid jobs being feminized it has led to the status of these role decreasing and along with it pay leaving them to become sexualized jobs. This might also affect the hiring process of the company and can be seen as vicious circle since once the idea was spreaded, this might affect the whole tourism industry. According to King (2013), extrinsic motivation is when employees are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity to earn a reward. At this stage, it seems like female worker will get less of the motivation since the pay gap has already been there. This is what need to be concerned.

However, if one consider this issue critically, the current situation could be seen as a transitional period because tourism sector has been experienced a very fast pace development over the past 20 years and this cause a huge demand for employees in tourism sector (Alka, 2016). And male were traditionally perceived as not good at housekeeping issues. So this caused the surge in demand of female employees in the industry and I believe that once the industry got rid of discrimination and pass this phase. The problem mentioned in this discussion paper will be solved.

Alka, O (2016) Gender Discrimination and Pay Gap On Tourism Labour Market. [Online] Available at:https://waset.org/publications/10003990/gender-discrimination-and-pay-gap-on-tourism-labor-market [Accessed 16 May 2018]

King, D. and Lawley, S. (2013) Organizational Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

A Commentary on 'Women Empowerment and Equality - the inequality and inbalance of women within managerial roles and the pay gap they have to face'
Author: Katy Little
I have chosen to comment on this discussion paper because it explores a similar context to my own discussion paper. The issue of gender inequality is also a very current topic and with tourism being one of the world's biggest industries, it is important to consider this issue within the tourism industry.

The author explores the issue of the tourism industry being made up of 60% female employees compared to 40% of employees being male but despite this, there still being a large gender pay gap between men and women. However, linking to this there has been a longstanding issue of a lack of female representation at higher levels of tourism companies. Kinnaird and Hall, (1994) stated that a majority of part time staff in the tourism industry were female with many of these jobs being considered low skilled. Therefore, the issue of inequality has been a prominent issue within the tourism industry for many years now and is still ever important at present.

As the author mentions, there are companies within the industry which are trying to spark positive changes within the way equality is handled including Ibis Hotels. The author also mentions that higher paid gaps such as managerial level jobs and pilots are being help responsible for gender pay gaps as these job roles are more male dominated. Due to this some airlines including British Airways and easyJet have generated schemes to encourage more women to join their businesses within these roles to even out their gender pay gap and to make their companies more equal.

Mills (2017) outlines that one of the issues that formulates the gender inequality within this industry is that careers within the tourism industry have become stereotyped. As the author has indicated, many job roles are seen to be feminised such as air hostesses, cleaners and receptionists (Mills, 2017). When job roles become stereotyped this then leads to a lack of equality which can be off-putting to people wishing to undertake these job roles which then makes it harder to break these stereotypes.

In agreement with the author, I believe that there is still a long way for the tourism industry to go in order to try and become more equal. This is likely to take a number of years to resolve and there is no quick solution to the gender pay gaps the tourism industry has that are a result of gender imbalances in the workplace. It is hopeful however that the schemes implemented by companies such as British Airways to employ more females in male dominated areas will be successful and make positive changes in the industry in the years to come.


Albert J. Mills, (2017), Strategy, Sexuality, and the Stratosphere: Airlines and the Gendering of Organisations , in Albert J. Mills (ed.) Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures, pp.193 - 207

Kinnaird, V. and Hall, D. (1994). Tourism A Gender Analysis. 1st ed. New York: Wiley, pp.42-45.